The meaning of the name of Allah As-Salaam

The next Name of Allah ta’ala is:

As-Salaam – The Perfect/ Flawless One

Salaam comes from the root verb SeenLaamMeem which means to be free from, thus Allah is free from all imperfections/deficiencies. (This name of Allah is very similar in meaning to the name of Allah, Al-Quddoos)

As-Salaam is Free from any kind of defect, His Attributes are free from any kind of imperfection, His Acts are free from any kind of evil.

Linguistic Meaning

Linguistically, salaam and salaamah mean baraa’ah: immunity, to be free of something and to be unblemished. According to ibn Al Arabi, salaamah means ‘aafiyah: well being, to be safe and good.

We see in the Qur’an that a quality of ebaadur Rahmaan (slaves of The Most Merciful) is: وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا “and when the ignorant address them, they reply with words of Salaam” (25:63). They say “salaam” to the ignorant, meaning they don’t want anything to do with their conversation (they are free from them). Also, Jannah is called Dar us Salaam (10:25), it is free of all grief, death, worries, tensions, fatigues, enmities, hatred, and it is a place of safety. Also when we say “assalaamu alaykum”, it means, you are safe from me and you will not receive any sharr (evil) from me.

To summarize the meanings of Salaam:

a) to be peaceful, to be friendly , to be in a good state b) to be free from imperfections c)      to be safe and secure. Other words from the same root include: a) Saleem: a qalbun saleem is a heart that is sound, unblemished, in a state of ‘aafiyah (well being). b) Islaam: state of submission.

Proof of this Name

The root of seen-laam-meem appears 170 times in the Qur’an. The Name As Salaam in the Qur’an appears once at the end of suratul Hashr (verse 23). From the sunnah we learn the Name As Salaam is mentioned in the duaa after salaah (Allahumma anta Salaam, wa minkas Salaam, tabarakta ya dhal Jalaali wal Ikraam)

What does it mean that Allah is As Salaam?

The Scholars say:

Ibn Katheer states: As Salaam is the One who is Free from all imperfections and deficiencies, because of the Perfection of His Being, of His Attributes and His Actions. He is So Perfect, He does not have any imperfections. For example, He is Living and is free from the imperfection of death. His Knowledge is free from the imperfection of forgetfulness. His Attributes are free from the imperfection of being similar to any creation. His Actions are perfect, whatever He does there is Hikmah (wisdom) behind it. So to summarize the statement of ibn Katheer: As Salaam is the One who is Perfect, He has no deficiencies which is why As Salaam has been translated as The Perfection.

Al Qurtubi states: As Salaam is the One who is safe from all deficiencies. He explains as Salaam in three ways:

1)      The One free from every fault, and He is absolved of every deficiency.

2)      He gives Salaam to His ebaad (slaves) in Jannah. We learn from the Qur’an that the dwellers of paradise will be greeted with salaam, by Allah, by the angels and by each other. In surah Yaseen verse 58, Allah ta’ala says: سَلَامٌ قَوْلًا مِن رَّبٍّ رَّحِيمٍ People in Jannah will be told “Salaam, a statement from their Rabb, the Most Merciful.”

3)    He keeps His creations safe from any injustice on His part and His creation is free from injustice from Him. What does this tell us? If Allah is As Salaam, there is no way He can be unjust.

Who receives Allah Salaam ?

a)      وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ: when you meet those who believe in Our signs, say salaamun alaykum to them (6:54). When you believe, you receive Allah’s Salaam.

b)    وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَىٰ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَىٰ : peace and security be upon the one who follows the guidance (20:49). Guidance is not just believing, but it is to follow the guidance and do the actions.

c)     أُولَـٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا: ‘Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of Salaam and respect.’ (25:75) The ebaadur Rahman will receive gurfah (highest rooms in Jannah), because of their patience and they get salaam from Allah. This is why we see people who are suffering so much but they are calm and patient, because they have this serenity and peace inside that Allah has given them.

d)    وَسَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ عِبَادِهِ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَىٰ Salaam will be upon those people whom Allah has chosen (29:59).

e) We should send salaam upon each other and upon the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and upon the Prophets alayhim assalam. In surah Saffaat, Allah mentions salaam after each prophet (salaamun alaa nuh, salaamun alaa ibraheem, salaamun alaa ilyaaseen), so when we hear or write their name, we should say alayhi salaam or sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. We should write tasleem for the Prophets, if Allah sends salaam upon them, we should as well.

Salaam upon Allah?

When we say Salaam, upon the Prophet, upon the righteous people, say salaam to each other, we should not  say salaam upon Allah. We do not say jazaakAllah to Allah, Allah is the One who gives jazaa’ (recompense)! We do not say salaamu ‘al Allah (Salaam upon Allah), because He Himself is As Salaam!

There is a hadeeth narrated by ibn Mas’ood radi Allahu anhu that the companions used to say: ‘assalaamu ‘al Allah’ (Salaam be upon Allah) instead of ‘at-Tahyaatu lillahi’ (The Greetings are for Allah) in the tashahhud. The Prophet sal allahu alayhi wa sallam told them: ‘do not say assalaamu ‘alal Allah because is He is Al Maalik (The King) and He is Al Mu’tee (The One who Gives), He is the Possessor of Salaam and He gives Salaam.’ He does not need security and safety, He Himself is Salaam and Perfect. Also we learn that once Angel Jibreel came to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and said, Allah sends His Salaam to Khadijah radi Allahu anha. Her reply was: ‘innAllaha huwas Salaam, indeed Allah, He is Salaam, wa ‘alaa Jibreelas Salaam, and upon Jibreel be Salaam, and upon you, O Prophet of Allah’. She did not say, and salaam upon Allah. So we must be careful and not say Salaam upon Allah.

How to make duaa by Allah’s Name as Salaam

We can make duaa by this Name when we want security, safety and peace. Sometimes we are very worried, very nervous, sad, anxious, say: Allahumma Sallim or O Allah antas Salaam (You are as-Salaam), give me security and protect me from this. You can also say: ‘O Salaam, give me Your Salaam in the hereafter, and guide me to subul as Salaam (ways of peace)’ . Also when you want your heart to be saleem (sound and free from shirk), ask As Salaam, and He will give you a saleem heart etc

Why after Salah do we call upon the Name of Allah, As-Salaam?

1)      After salaah we say:

‘O Allah, You are As-Salaam and from You is Salaam, blessed are You, O Possessor of majesty and honour.’ Why do we say this after salaah? Why do we not say O Allah, You are Al-Kareem and from You comes Karam? or You are Al-Azeez and from You comes Izz? There is a profound wisdom indeed.

O Allah, You are As-Salaam… O Allah you are the Flawless/Perfect, whereas I have just finished a prayer which was full of deficiency/lack of khushoo’

and from You is As-Salaam… and from You comes flawlessness/perfection … you say this recognizing your imperfections, one whose ebaadah is full of deficiency … so your saying this statement out of hope that Allah will rectify your salaah.

A salaah in which there is no khushoo’ (humility), it is struck back on the person and not taken.  So it is as if you are saying “O Allah, if my salaah was not proper, if there was anything You did not like, keep me safe from its consequence.” This is the benefit of following the sunnah, you are secure from things that you do not even imagine. Who would have imagined that you would suffer consequences after praying salaah?! But the sunnah teaches us, so we say Allahumma antas salaam wa minkas salaam, O Allah protect me from the shortcomings of my salaah.

The meaning of As-Salaamulikum

An in-dept look at the statement As-Salaamulikum has been given HERE

AS-Salaamulikum vs Salaamunalikum

This word Salaam will be said to the believers when they enter Jannah and when they enter Jannah … ‘and its keepers say, “Salaam be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,” (39:73)

A question arises, in the dunya we say AS-Salaamulikum but in Jannah it is Salaamunalikum (though in dunya we can say Salaamunalikum but in Jannah the greeting is always and only Salaamunalikum and not AS-Salaamulikum, why?

Because (and Allah knows best) in the dunya your saying AS-Salaamulikum as a dua to the one your greeting but in Jannah its no longer a dua rather it is a statement/ a reality that peace has reached you, no more imperfection no more stress no more fatigue no more worries will ever touch you etc.

In the dunya there so much imperfection but in the Jannah there is none of this, its just perfection after perfection. And how amazing is it that this statement Salaamunalikum will be said by Allah to the believers in Jannah… (Ya Sallam, Allow us to hear Your salaam upon us)

The effect of knowing Allah is As-Salaam

If we know Allah is free from all imperfections/ deficiency  then this should remind us that it is us who are full of imperfections/ deficiency/ diseases etc So it should humble us!

We cannot be described as being as-Salaam but we should strive for this quality (to rid ourselves from imperfections) and thus the goal of a believer is to reach this level which Allah speaks about when he said “The day on which neither wealth nor sons will be of any use, except for whoever brings to Allah a SALEEM heart. (26:88-89)”

A heart that is Saleem is a heart free from kufr shirk nifaaq riyaah spiritual illnesses, Dunya sins etc a heart that only beats for Allah…A heart that loves Allah Trusts in Allah Hopes in Allah Fears Allah. A heart that Loves what Allah loves and Hates what Allah hates. A heart free from envy jealousy anger stinginess cowardliness etc A heart that is pleased with what Allah decrees. A heart that is pleased with Allah has His Lord Islam as his religion and Muhammed as his messenger etc

And this is your goal in life, to purify this heart from all imperfections for the one who can purify this heart is guaranteed success in the dunya and more importantly the akhira.

Some may say, ‘Isnt the purpose of life to worship Allah? Yes, but you cannot worship Allah unless you have a (saleem) sound heart. Moreover worship has been legislated to purify the heart. The ulamaa have said; all acts of worship, their main purpose is to purify the heart so that you come to Allah on the Day of Judgment with a heart that is SALEEM.

Allah, as Salaam, knows best

YA Salaam grant us Salaam in the dunya, Salaam in our graves, Salaam when we are Resurrected Salaam when we meet You, Salaam upon the siraat and grant us Salaam from the Fire and Your anger. Ameen

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